Looking for a relaxed, cheery atmosphere where you can learn from a Nobel laureate, study in one of the finest science facilities in the southeast, or give your political career a jump start by networking at the state capitol, all while getting your fill of the blazing Florida sun? Look no further than Florida State University, located a mere half hour away from the Gulf of Mexico, and described by one junior as the “cool, laid-back friend of the Florida university system.”
Here are a few quick facts about FSU:
4-year Graduation rate: 66%, 6-year: 83%
Freshman retention: 93%
Freshmen out of state: 12%
Most popular majors: finance, international affairs, biological science, psychology
Student Community Diversity: 8.7% Black, 21.5% Latino, 1.7% International
Housing: While 82% of freshmen live in the dorms, which get mixed reviews, by the way, only about 20% of all undergrads live on campus. One student commented that living on campus makes for a “smoother” freshman year, but afterwards most students move into one of the plentiful apartments or houses within walking distance of campus. An efficient city and campus bus system is available to those who live a little more of a hike away.
Academics: FSU offers nearly 200 undergraduate degrees with its most outstanding programs including music, drama, art and dance. Engineering and the sciences are also solid programs, not to mention that communications, statistics, and business all have strong reputations in the southeast, and a new major has been added in entrepreneurship. Not impressed yet? Well, how about the fact that the English department and the College of Motion Picture Arts have consistently won national and international awards?
As part of Florida State’s liberal studies curriculum, freshmen take an E-series course that studies a particular question or issue from multiple perspectives. Other requirements for freshmen include fulfilling a diversity requirement and taking two Scholarship in Practice courses, where students apply their learning to produce an original project. FSU also offers honors courses for gifted students (Note: this is limited to 25 students) and some are even able to complete their degree in three years.
Outside of the classroom, there are internship and political jobs available with the state capitol and Supreme Court nearby, as well as research opportunities, even for freshmen and sophomores. Want to get a little further away from the compact 450-acre campus? Be among the 15 percent who participate in a wide-range of study abroad programs offered.
Similar colleges to consider: Indiana University, Michigan State, Iowa State
Social: When not studying, students have many options for entertainment, including films, concerts, and parties in the dorms or off campus. Tallahassee offers plenty to do with its cafes, bar patios, art parks, and club scene, for those who like the nightlife. Greek life attracts 19% of men and 24% of women. If that is not your scene, there are about 800 organizations, so a wealth of ways to get involved.
Seminoles compete in Division I Atlantic Coast Conference. School spirit runs especially high during football season (can you hear the beating of the campus spirit drum?). The football team won two national titles in the 90s and won again in 2013, while 2018 was a great year for women’s sports – the women’s soccer and softball teams were national champions that year. One-third of students participate in the school’s more than 40 intramural sports and 40 sports clubs
Financial: Florida State offers both need-based and merit scholarships. The average percent of need met is 81%, with 21% being fully met. Although tuition and fees are $23,000 and $37,000 for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively, the average financial aid package is $16,600. About 96% of incoming freshmen receive some type of financial aid, the majority of which comes from scholarships and grants, including 1% of students receiving sports scholarships.